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Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate –Using Biomechanics to Predict Vision Loss Progression– National University of Singapore

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Job description: We are looking for a bright, dynamic, and highly motivated individual to perform research in biomechanics with applications to ophthalmology. For more information about our Laboratory, please visit: This is a project in collaboration with clinicians from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (top 5 eye institute worldwide) and from Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK (biggest eye hospital worldwide).

The proposed study aims to predict vision loss progression from glaucoma – a blinding ocular disorder for which mechanisms are far from being understood. Glaucoma is characterized by cell loss within the optic nerve head (ONH) at the back of the eye. Our recent work suggested that cellular death could be the result of a biomechanically deficient ONH. Thus we hypothesize that in-vivo measurements of ONH biomechanics can be used to predict vision loss progression. To test such hypothesis, the successful candidate is expected to contribute to a longitudinal study, in which ONH biomechanics and vision performance will be continuously quantified over a period of 2 years in glaucoma patients and naturally-ocurring ocular-hypertensive primates at high risk of vision loss progression. The strength of this work lies in the combined use of state-of-the-art biomechanical tools and carefully selected at-risk populations.
Specifically, the successful candidate will use, improve and develop 3D image tracking algorithms to compute pressure-induced strains/stresses within the ONH tissues given 3D optical coherence tomography volumes of eyes of patients and primates. As this is a longitudinal study, growth and remodeling of the ONH connective tissues tissues will also be investigated.

Biomechanical studies of the ONH are to date limited to ex-vivo testing or computational modeling. This study aims to propose novel techniques to quantify ONH biomechanics in vivo, and to apply them longitudinally in at-risk populations. Given the alarming cost of blindness, findings from this study could translate into novel glaucoma diagnosis tools and drive the development of novel therapies.

Qualification: Excellent programming skills (in C/C++ and Java or Matlab) and knowledge of 3D image tracking techniques (e.g. digital volume correlation, particle image velocimetry) are required. The candidate is also expected to have knowledge of nonlinear continuum mechanics and the finite element method. Knowledge of the Virtual Fields Method, code parallelization, and optical coherence tomography is considered a plus. Hands-on experience in mechanical or biomechanical testing is also considered a plus. No background in ophthalmology is required. Candidates with PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, or other related disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Earliest Starting Date: March 2014.

Duration: 2-3 years.  

To apply, please email a detailed CV and the names of two references to:

Dr. Michael JA Girard
In vivo Biomechanics Laboratory
Department of Biomedical Engineering
National University of Singapore
In vivo Biomechanics Laboratory Logo

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